It was an abnormal birthday. My first "summer" birthday felt much different than the normal autumn, verging on winter day that I am used to. As a child I used to dream of pool parties or birthdays at the "Crooked House" at the local Zoo in Lincoln, alas... the "Crooked House" was not open in winter, and no outdoor swimming pool was either!
This year was different. I slept with AC on, I wore shorts, I even wore a sleeveless dress... Toto, I am not in Nebraska.
I went out to dinner with friends. Afterwords we met a group of teachers (in the below photo) at Banyon Tree Hotel, the 59th floor (still not the tallest building in BKK, but the 2nd-- and more beautiful) . I was greeted by friendly faces and I made the REQUIREMENT, not a request I blurted out, but a requirement.
"I would like to thank everyone for coming this evening--- I know that I am much younger than all of you... and I do not want to feel so young on a day in which I am turning another year older. Nor do I want to be alone in the '23'-age block... so at least for tonight, I want everyone to be twenty-three again. Some of you have to think back farther than others, but tonight you get to relive 23!"
I would like to make a disclaimer about the attire that evening. We decided to dress up (because otherwise we not be allowed into one of restaurants) and also because of the Princess. Last year the Princess of Thailand passed away and the faithful Thai's wore black (for 100 days) to mourn her death. So the 14th, 15th, and 16th the funeral and cremation was taking place--- and yes, again black was the required attire. However, it made everyone look classy for my celebration, as well as matching....
Renee, Dollie, Annet, Me, Bekah, & Daniel ontop of the Banyon Tree Hotel!
Aliens? I hope not. Here Geneva, Annet, & I at dinner: a rooftop deck at centralworld (my favorite shopping center).
The evening was beautiful: gorgeous eateries with breathtaking view... Again I was reminded of the magnitude of Bangkok, 15 million people... much more than 15 million lights shining up at me.
Turning twenty-three was a wonderful experience. Before moving to Thailand I thought of '23' as a number with zero significance, just another year. Now I beg to differ. My friends that evening who were revisiting 23, shared how significant that year was to them. My birthday celebration was significant to me as well. My friends here took such good care of me, treating me to dinner, surprising me with coffee the next morning (a secret that always wins my heart!), and teaching me that '23' is not just another number... it is a year that will mold my life for the years to come. I already have spent the whole of my 23 (to date) in Thailand... which in itself is pretty significant.
Will I get another chance at 23? If not, I better make this year one for the history books. So 'Sawasdee Ka', 'Bonjor', 'Hola', and 'Hello' 23, it feels good to be here.